Sclerocarya birrea

Botanical Name: Sclerocarya birrea         

Common Name: Marula, Musebe, Muongo, Mulula, Msewe         

Plant Family: Anacardiaeae (Mango Family)

Growth Form, Habitat and Distribution: A medium to large-sized fully deciduous (May to November) tree of open, dry savanna, Miombo, Munga, or Chipya woodland with a straight erect trunk and then spreading branches. Widespread at low and medium altitudes, except in the Luapula, Northern and plateau parts of Muchinga Provinces.

Size: Height up to 18m, spread 6 to 10m

Bark: Conspicuous pale grey to grey-brown, rough with raised scales. The inner bark is red or pink. Extrudes a clear gum when damaged

Flowers: Flowers are small in small groups with sepals red, petals yellowish, male flowers  in unbranched sprays of yellow, or pink, September to November

Fruit: Round and fleshy, green and ripening to yellow the following March to June. The hard inner stone has several upper marking perhaps indicating the sex of the seed.

Uses: The flowers attract bees. The fruits are rich in vitamin C, are edible, and used to make jam and a popular alcoholic drink. Also favoured by many wild mammals and birds. The seeds rich in protein and usable oil-rich. A good garden specimen tree.